Valerie Lopes, BSc, MA, PhD

On sabbatical this year, after a 2 year secondment as the Director of Teaching and Learning at Seneca College, I am leading the team that is collaborating on eCampusOntario’s  Extend project, advising the University of Central Asia’s faculty in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan and Khorog, Tajikstan on contextualizing and integrating their curriculum, and  developing a new course: Global Citizen – Digital Communities.

I have  a BSc in Life Sciences from the University of Toronto, a MA in Education from Central Michigan University and a PhD in  College Leadership from OISE’s Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the University of Toronto.

I am a member of the School of Graduate Studies for the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and the Council of 3M National Fellows for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.  I am the  Awards Chair on the Board of Directors of the Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and a Peer Reviewer for the International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT). I represent Seneca on the Educational Technology Committe of the Ontario College and have just completed a 5 year tem as the Chair of the committee.  Working with the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, I provided guidance and direction for the teaching and learning research studies, with a focus on technology enhanced learning. 

As the academic lead of  the curriculum design team for the University of Central Asia’s problem based, contextualized and integrated Preparatory year which focuses on English as an additional language, Math and Science, I also guided the planning for the implementation of the curriculum, interviewing and hiring faculty to teach the courses,  curating the resources to support the courses and guiding and mentoring the faculty as the courses are taught.   This work was highlighted in a series of articles by Devex ( a media platform for the global development community)  and the focus of a case study prepared by the Aga Khan Foundation Canada for Global Affairs Canada.   I also worked with the content experts for the Universitie’s core curriculum to ensure that the curriculum followed a constructive alignment philosophy and that UCA’s core literacies were taught, practiced and assessed. 

With extensive experience in leading projects, program development and evaluation, I have participated in over 25 Program Quality Assessment Board reviews and worked on curriculum design and faculty development projects in Tanzania, Columbia, Mozambique, China, Italy and Kenya.  With expertise in implementing a wide range of professional development activities and services that facilitated the development of innovative and effective curriculum strategies at Seneca, I championed the introduction of new learning technologies and promoted ongoing campus-wide conversations about current and relevant curricula and flexible learning environments.  

I am a passionate advocate for access to high-quality educational experiences and classrooms without “walls”.  It is  my love of teaching and my reflective practice aimed at enabling engaging learning experiences that is the inspiration for all of my work.  How am I impacting learning?  and  How do I know?